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23 all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.(A) 24 They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus,(B) 25 whom God set forth as an expiation,[a] through faith, by his blood, to prove his righteousness because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed,(C) 26 through the forbearance of God—to prove his righteousness in the present time, that he might be righteous and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 (D)What occasion is there then for boasting?[b] It is ruled out. On what principle, that of works? No, rather on the principle of faith.[c]

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  1. 3:25 Expiation: this rendering is preferable to “propitiation,” which suggests hostility on the part of God toward sinners. As Paul will be at pains to point out (Rom 5:8–10), it is humanity that is hostile to God.
  2. 3:27–31 People cannot boast of their own holiness, since it is God’s free gift (Rom 3:27), both to the Jew who practices circumcision out of faith and to the Gentile who accepts faith without the Old Testament religious culture symbolized by circumcision (Rom 3:29–30).
  3. 3:27 Principle of faith: literally, “law of faith.” Paul is fond of wordplay involving the term “law”; cf. Rom 7:21, 23; 8:2. Since “law” in Greek may also connote “custom” or “principle,” his readers and hearers would have sensed no contradiction in the use of the term after the negative statement concerning law in Rom 3:20.